Even as I begin to write this review, I can feel the icky goose bumps rising on my spine. Nevertheless, Chan-wook Park’s Oldboy is a must see, and after I heard that Steven Spielberg and Will Smith are rumored to be attached to an American remake, I feel compelled to encourage you all to see the original first, unless, that is, you prefer your tonics watered down. To be sure, Oldboy is a rough one, the story of a man abducted and imprisoned in a hotel room-like cell for fifteen years with absolutely no explanation. Suddenly, he is released and must put together the pieces of the puzzle to find the answers he searches for. Park’s fascination with the darkest parts of humanity comes into its own in this film, and if you are familiar with his work, you can empathize with my trepidation at watching Thirst (I had to close my eyes during the red band trailer. Don’t judge me, I get grossed out by needles in veins and, apparently, teeth in veins). The rumor of a remake only brings to mind the other rumor concerning an American version of Let the Right One In. Why? Why, when we have a perfectly good, perfectly classic original out there in the world would we want to simply make another one, only less good this time? Because people hate subtitles? The kind of people who want to see films like this are fine with subtitles.
Note: The fight sequence in the underground hallway is one of the coolest sequences I think I have ever seen. The energy and the length of the scene leaves you breathless.